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Days 4-5: Scituate, MA - Gloucester, MA - Annisquam River

After a good nights rest in Scituate, the next leg would be a much shorter 20 mile run due north to the historic fishing port of Gloucester, MA. Getting to Gloucester, and then through the Annisquam River with it's current, tight turns and low bridges was always a sort of watershed goal that was present since we had left Warren. From here it would only be one more long run into Maine.

I left around noontime, to catch the fair tide into Gloucester Harbor, and finally it would seem that the wind REALLY came up! I pulled out of the harbor and pointed the bow 0 degrees true north, the fresh breeze putting me on a broad reach where I sped along in flat seas at 6+ knots touching 7.2- nicely making way. Just a few days later in these same waters off of Scituate I read that a ferry bound for Provincetown had been hit by a twenty foot rogue wave and got roughed up pretty good. Today fortunately was not that day, as we pushed north.

Now, you'll hear me use "we" quite a bit, and just to be clear even though it's just me on board, this boat and I are in it together, real thick like thieves. When things are going great like this and we are flying along I know she's having just as much fun as I am, and when things get rough I'll say things to her like "c'mon now, this is what you were made for!" and she always pulls through in fine style, knifing through swells like nobody's business.

Since this leg would largely be about 15 miles offshore in a couple of hundred feet of water, leaving nothing (hopefully) to run into, the main task of the day would be crossing the Boston shipping lanes, which are very busy. About 2 hours in, I spotted a large freighter making it's way to Boston from the east. I took a bearing and monitored it over the next 40 minutes. I concluded that it would be reasonably close but at the speed I was making we would pass safely. You don't want to play chicken with these boys, and since they are a working vessel it's up to me to stay out of the way. We passed through without incident, but close enough to get a good look at her massive size. I continued north, towards my target until I arrived just outside the breakwater. By this point in the late afternoon, there were some squalls rolling through which left some decent size rollers in the bay. This made dropping the mainsail quite challenging - you've always got to make sure you are holding on to something! For particularly snotty weather I also carry a safety harness that I can clip in for added security.

Island Adventure 2, Part 1: Total Disaster

On Tynan

As I write this, I am hunched over my laptop, which is held at an awkward angle because of the steering wheel in front of me. Carpal tunnel syndrome is imminent. Out of the window to my left, if it wasn't so foggy and dark, I'd be able to see our island. This island trip has not gone according to plan.

I had the not-so-genius-in-retrospect idea of driving through the night to Nova Scotia. I argued that we could each drive three hours or so, sleep six, and we'd arrive in the morning ready to tackle the day. That's not how things turned out, though.

From Boston, I drove us to the Canadian border. Exhausted, I turned the reins over to Ben. Ben continued my proud tradition of maintaining around 100mph (great roads, no cops), which came to an abrupt end a couple hours into his shift when he hit the biggest pothole I've ever seen. At 100mph. The tire popped and was completely shredded by the time we came to a stop in the shoulder.

Our rental vehicle, a faux-luxury Buick Verona, which we had been upgraded to, does have a spare, but it's a tiny one that can only go 50mph. That sounds like a bad thing, and is indeed bad in many cases, but there turned out to be a silver lining. Brian took over the driving, set the cruise control to 50mph, and eventually fell asleep at the wheel. I woke up as our car was cruise-control guided into the median ditch.

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